Sep 6, 2010 6:00pm EDT
. it happened at 5:00 a.m. in west virginia just behind the charlestown racetrack. stacey is just back from west virginia with the story. >> reporter: this is a story of unspeakable tragedy and incredible bravery. this is a fire that started in one barn. a witness said it sounded like an explosion and quickly spread to two other barns. trapped inside were 50 racehorses amend the barns burned some nearby horsemen and women, even some charlestown casino workers rescued to try to save the terrified animals. >> if question save a horse's life it is something we do. like a doctor saving a human beings life. we went to the fire an the smoke was too much to go in the barn. >> within minutes of getting the others out the flames were taking over other barns and we were seconds from getting those out. >> they managed to got out 26 horses from that burning barn. the survivors were rounded up and led in to an empty stable that charlestown raceway made available for them. even a few goats that served as companion animals that made it out alive, as well. a total of 27 horses did perish. damage is stimed at 1.